2009 California Mountain Unicycle Weekend, Downieville and Tahoe!

That’s right folks, thank you for your patience while nothing happened. We have finally set our weekend and our MUni plans in motion! The chosen dates are September 25-27. The chosen location is Northern Lake Tahoe, though our Friday ride is TBD.

This year, the world’s first and oldest MUni Weekend will be centered around the famous Downieville Downhill ride. That’s the one we missed in 2006 due to fires in the area. Better luck this time! If we follow the racecourse by the same name, it’s a 17 mile ride from the Sierra Buttes, at around 7000’, down to the little town of Downievlle, CA at around 3000’. For those of you who are weak on math, that’s 4000’ of downhill, with at least 700’ of uphill thrown in to keep things interesting. This ride is not only long, but it’s also demanding. Brakes are nice to have, but the trail is pretty technical in the first half, so don’t make the mistake I did once, and bring a 29" wheel that’s not ready for a little punishment!

Our Sunday ride will be on the famous Hole-In-Ground Trail in Truckee. This is the trail Kris Holm described as “Maybe my favorite of all the trails I’ve ridden in California.” He did the whole thing, at about 12 miles with lots of ups and downs. We will offer a selection of out-and-back distances, with gorgeous overlooks and a “play area” along the way that will appeal to all you rock-hoppers out there.

Friday is open. Any suggestions? Just keep in mind that we have a long, hard ride planned for Saturday so nothing that will kill average humans. Our plan is to stay in the North Tahoe area, with Lloyd Johnson offering his digs on a first come, first serve basis. We’ll also be renting one or more cabins to share, probably in the Kings Beach, Incline Village and/or Northstar areas.

The plan is to keep it simple this year, with no plans for formal competitions. Those are a lot of work to set up, and neither Lloyd or I are interested in building apparati for Street or Trials competitions. Maybe we’ll get some informal stuff together on natural terrain, but that remains to be seen.

I’ve started to put together the web site, where the information will be available as it comes along. Keep checking there for updates, which should show up there first. Hopefully most of what I’ll be doing here is saying “Hey, check out the latest info on the site!”

Costs: I don’t think Lloyd will be charging for his various floors and/or yard. Any cabins we rent will be shared expense. For Downieville there will be shuttle fees, probably around $20. And there will be a nominal registration fee to pay for getting everything organized, and who-knows-what at this point. We’ll let you know.

So who’s coming?

Yes! Best news I’ve heard all week! I’m not positive if I can come due to money issues, but I know I will do everything in my power to be there.

So for the Downieville ride do you think a 24" MUni would be the best choice?

Will there be a gathering Saturday night like there was last year? If there will be any gatherings planned that weekend, are we allowed to bring some of our own trials obstacles to share with everyone?

Thank you for doing this for us!

Are you implying that a 29" wheel that is ready for punishment might be okay? :slight_smile:

I’m planning to be there.

Wow, that sounds great. How about an option to do Mr Toads on Friday for those who like excellent riding and 3 days of punishment?

Mr Toads would be fun!

I have been hoping to get over to the flume trail from Marlette Lake…
another classic ride.

I will try to make it!


i should be coming. i love CMW.

Yes, it is. I thought the famous Flume Trail would be a great possibility for a Coker ride, for anyone interested in bringing a Coker. Since the ride is not very technical, it should be mostly rideable, except for the long climbs (depending how much of an animal you are) and possibly some sandy areas on the way down at the end. But it’s also a long ride, at about 14 miles, with just under 1000’ of climbing to get to Marlett Lake. Definitely fine for a 29", or a geared 24" MUni.

I knew somebody would request that. Being Nathan, I know you don’t need it explained that those two ride back-to-back would kill a lot of people. As the host it’s up to me to think of alternatives. But someone like Nathan could indeed be a ride leader for a group that wants to ride Mr. Toads.

The reason I mentioned that is from my previous experience bringing my 29" to ride the Downieville Trail. My wheel setup was just not appropriate for the technical terrain of that ride. For the second time I forgot about the fun technical part, and remembered instead the long miles of swooping, nice singletrack toward the end. Your 29" may be better suited to pounding down the rocky parts. Just be advised that there’s several miles of that, perfectly suited to a strong 24" MUni. But then there are many more miles of smoother riding, which would be great with ha 29". Some would even be good on a Coker, but I pity the fool that brings one of those because the main feature of Downieville is the technical sections.

Me at the end of that ride, where I blew out my 29" tube, managed to stretch in a 26" one and then ride very daintily for the remaining 2/3 of the trail.


No one’s going to stop you from bringing Trials obstacles, for sure. As for Saturday evening, probably not because the Downieville ride may run a little late. Then again maybe not, as I’m not sure of the drive time from Truckee. But at the end of your ride, you’ll have to wait for and then get on a shuttle back up to Packer Saddle, where most of the vehicles will probably be parked, then drive back to Truckee. We’ll have to work out how late we think people will be getting back, but due to the relatively long drive time, people may prefer to get something to eat when they arrive in Downieville.

So we might plan the big group get-together/meal for Friday evening, but so far Friday is a big unknown…

Last weekend, I did an out-and-back ride of the last few miles of Hole in the Wall. Lloyd took Kari and I out to “Tahoe’s slickrock”, just a hundred feet off the HITW trail, where there are countless trials lines to be rolled, hopped and/or dropped. HITW itself was a fun combination of fast-rolling singletrack with technical sections, rock gardens and jibs thrown in here and there. Lots of fun!

I’ll suggest Lloyd’s trail because it’s short (1-2 hours) and I missed it in 2004.

You guys are free to do whatever you want in between rides. If you want to organize something, go right ahead! Truckee has a decent skate park that you guys could hit up for an informal street comp or something…

Lloyd mentioned that you guys had just been out there. Did you start from the Soda Springs exit? Have to get an idea of the layout of that trail so we can make recommendations to people. Ultimately I’d like to get up and ride the whole thing at some point, but unknown if I’ll schedule it (or be able to do all of it).

That would be good for a half-day ride, and I can recommend it for people who won’t arrive in time if we start a ride earlier. But on its own it’s not enough for a whole day.

I think the skate park is not open to bikes, so we can’t make any formal plans to ride there. Keep it very informal and off the Internet so the MUni Weekend doesn’t get in trouble for promoting it. Also there are other good (natural) Trialsy places to ride within a few miles of town so there’s plenty to choose from.

We started from the Castle Peak exit. The climb to 8000’ was a bear but mostly rideable (minus some rock gardens). When we turned around, the descent went super-quick. What are you thinking in regards to this trail? Would we ride the full loop, or shuttle between Soda Springs and Castle Peak?

You’re right… but I dunno what kind of “whole day” ride you’d want to schedule the day before Hole in the Ground. Is there a reasonable section of the Rim Trail that isn’t too far from Truckee? Maybe a big wheel spin on the local bike paths? Hmm…

The park’s site doesn’t offer any information, but I’ll err on the side of caution and say no more.

I had a blast on the rocks around Donner Ski Ranch. Tons of natural trials there… no need to bring any obstacles!

Bump to hear from more attendees. Speak up!

This sounds great, I’m down to come. Anyone wanna carpool?

I’ll be there, with a special surprise!

damn i’ll be out of town.


Seriously considering it. I get laid off on August 29th and was thinking of traveling till freeze up.

Hopefully it won’t be as vehicle consuming this time :stuck_out_tongue:

Is there a t-shirt planned?

Maybe I’ll just sell off a bunch of my old ones at a deep discount! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m thinking of keeping it simple this year, so I’m not sure on the T-shirts. Also the place that did all my previous ones went belly-up this year. :frowning: If anyone has design ideas let me know!

I have this one I submitted for last year but I was too late so it was never printed. I have a .psd of it so I can change anything on it very easily.

If you decide that you want to use it I will go back and improve the smaller details.